I think we get a couple of things confused when we talk about “fear,” and we need some language around it.
Fear as an Instinct
The instinct of a deer to perk its ears and run away when it knows a predator is near is similar to that instinct in us. It’s a God given fear because it really does keep us safe and alive.
You may experience this fear as a deep knowing to get out of an unsafe environment, to not get in that car, or to hide from something. The response is quick and it’s a deep knowing.
We doubt this fear sometimes because we confuse it with other forms of fear, and because the ego, who is the liar, will say things like “you’re being ridiculous” or ” what could possibly happen.” But if you’re really listening, your God voice is simply saying “Go,” in the way of a trusted parent.
On the other hand, that same liar ego that told you not to worry about it when God was telling you to run for your life or to not get mixed up with that person or whatever will try to scare you to death at a time that you might be trying something new or under some kind of stress.
This fear will say things like “you’re not good enough.” “You will fail at this.” “Why even try.” “What will people say?” “Stay small and unnoticed. You don’t matter anyway.”
Ego likes to use trigger language that he knows will get to you, like the voice of a past abuser. Or he will flash past haunts and try to convince you that if you failed once, you’ll fail every time.
Or he will start showing images of a made up future in which everything goes wrong because you had the audacity to step outside your comfort zone.
A lot of people think this ego fear comes from the same place as the instinct fear, but they are opposites.
Your instinct fear will be a loving fear. It’s an adrenaline rush and the power to get out of a situation or to put your foot down to protect yourself.
Your ego fear is doubt, jealousy, anxiety (the need to control), rage, or many other low vibrational feelings fed by the liar that we all have in our minds. Your God voice during these times of egoic fear will be there. He will be still and calm. If you can focus on His voice, He will tell you to press forward, to make the move or stay, or to show up for yourself.
The Fear of God
Finally, I want to address a popular Christian phrase “the fear of God.” The term “fear of God” in the Bible, translated from other languages, is misinterpreted by modern English speakers to mean being afraid of Him.
But the fear of God in the Bible is other words that actually mean awe or respect. To be in awe and wonder of Him is completely different from being afraid of Him. Respecting Him is not the same as cowering and being afraid.
So remember that the awe or respect of God also includes being still and knowing He is present. Listening. Surrendering to the greater good. These are not always easy, because our ego voice will tell us to be afraid, to be individualistic, or to be something we are not.
But if we just remember not to be afraid, but to be open to God and to come to Him internally with our Truth, that we can start to lean into who we are truly here to be, instead of being afraid of the immense power He uses through us.